For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?
Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury.
But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.
On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him?
Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.
Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.
As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Morning Star returns to the Red Rising universe with the thrilling sequel to Iron Gold.
This was a rollercoaster!!! So much happens and I had so many emotions as it unfolded.
I have had a book hangover this last week, unable to move on, and have been spending lots of time on the Facebook DA discussion page while trying to come up with a non-spoiler review.
I am failing to come up with one. So buckle up, Howlers. This is going to be long and only for those who have read the book.
I’ll separate the review by the character POVs.
You have been warned about SPOILERS!
Darrow – Bloodydamn, he’s in hell! Mercury is a mess.
I am trying to organize my thoughts on where to begin. Ok first off – those Storm Gods! That was a pretty good move. (I will admit that trying to keep up with the battle talk in Part I had me a bit lost and I will need a reread.) I was so sad that Orion died. But also, I get it. After what happened to her I feel like she was too far gone. Such a tragic end. I wonder what happened to her parrot?
Tongueless – Everyone had all these theories about him, that he was Ragnar’s father, and then boom! The first casualty! Cut into 4 pieces. Brutal. I guess we’ll never know his story. I wonder what happened to his dog?
Something that crossed my mind was all this radiation poisoning that they have from the war on Mercury. I got from Iron Gold that Virginia wants more children, and can Darrow be cured enough from the radiation to have more with her? I certainly hope so! I want them to make more babies.
I really missed having Darrow with Virginia and with Sevro. Most fans are saying Dark Age is their favorite of the books. And yes it does elevate the action and the drama. It is an excellent story. But I still feel like Golden Son is my favorite because Darrow is with Mustang and Sevro. This separation kills me. I feel like in the next book Darrow will be reunited with Virginia and they better go save Sevro. I think it will kill my soul if Sevro dies, or has a fate worse than death.
Speaking of Sevro, how awesome was that part in Sevro’s Palace? It started off as comic relief:
and ended up being really touching:
Something I am not convinced about is that it was Darrow’s blade that poisoned Kalindora. That just doesn’t seem like something he would do. I bet it was Atalantia.
Yay for the return of Screwface! And Cassius! I knew when Kavax told Virginia that someone came from the Rim to help it was Cassius! Thunder and Lightening together again!
Lysander – Oh boy. Ok. I don’t agree with his ideals and trying to justify slavery, but I do have to say – he totally earned that scar. Mercury was his Institute and he pulled through.
That whole Mind’s Eye thing kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. I know there was a hint of it mentioned in IG, but it was really heavily used in DA.
I did NOT see that sudden death coming for Seraphina. Bloodydamn.
Also, I missed not seeing Diomedes au Raa more.
UGH Alexander!!! That was cold! Great dialogue exchange though. “No honor.” “No time.”
Speaking of Alexander, I loved the part when he refused the scar and accepted the wolf cloak. What a beautiful scene.
Atalantia is one sick, twisted C U Next Tuesday. And that was definitely Lysander’s first time. So sick. That whole family sick, but all these twisted political games is great writing!
I laughed at Lysander’s Triumph when he knew from Darrow’s not to trust anyone or anything there.
I love that we have some theories confirmed about Lysander’s parents and about his memory loss. Fans had theories that he was a clone. LOL, yea wrong clone!
There are new theories that Atlas is Lysander’s real father. I could see it.
I am totally into Atlas’s story about his exile. He’s mysterious and compelling. He’s one antagonist I want to know more about.
While I am not rooting for Lysander or anyone a part of the Society, it is so good to read the POV of the bad guys.
Virginia – Finally! We have her POV. I love this woman. She is brilliant. She’s not perfect, but even when she makes mistakes she still holds her own and is so intelligent. I also loved her inner struggle to no be evil and corrupted like her father and twin.
Ok, I am going to admit that the part with the Silvers had me so confused. I had no gorydamn idea what was going on with them. Went right over my head.
I loved her scene with The Duke of Hands. What a well written mind warp that was! I don’t care if he has a fresh mind, I hope he dies. I hope he died in the coup.
I loved, loved, loved the scene with Sevro, Holiday and Theodora. So many important topics discussed.
Dancer I went from hating him in IG because of the way he treated Darrow, to totally feeling bad for him in DA.
Daxo – WTF! I knew as soon as he said he would like to be a father that Pierce was going to kill him off. That was such a mean and dishonorable death. Fans used to suspect he was a traitor. I was never sure. He did not deserve that death! Throwing his head around like a volleyball. Horrible.
Theodora! What a violent execution.
Seriously, the death toll in this book is at Shakespearian tragedy levels.
The Jackal Clone – Ok, I know there were little bird seed hints of cloning spread across IG and DA, but I did not see this coming at all. I am not sure how I feel about it. I’m not that into cloned villains.
I also did not see the Syndicate Queen being Lilath. I should have seen it coming. She disguised herself as a Pink for Darrow’s Triumph in GS and now as a Red for the Syndicate Queen.
Lilath is right up there with Atalantia for the twisted psychotic award. Sevro had the best reactions to her and what she did. He’d got the best insults.
I loved how Virginia really thought her way through it and used her twin’s games to escape.
Also, this response to Lilath was GOLD.
Nook Page 560: “If I hated him, why did I pull his feet? If I didn’t love him, why would I keep those puzzles?” Lilith goes still. Eat that bitch.
How awesome was the Iron Circle flight on Mars?! As dark as this book was, that support from Mars at the end was HOPEFUL!
I also especially loved Virginia and Victra’s scene. I had been waiting for that. It reminding me of Darrow and Sevro’s confrontation/resolution in Morning Star.
There’s a blooper! In IG Sevro and Victra’s youngest daughter is named Diana. Now she was called Selene. Oops. I prefer Diana. Goddess of the Hunt.
Ephraim – His POV was excellent. I cried like a giant baby when he was reunited with Volga. That was so beautiful.
I loved that he was redeemed. And then I was crushed when he was killed off. NO POV character is safe!
That last line, “Worthy.” Bravo, Pierce. Bravo.
He was also a great source for comic relief. I loved the battle when he was high on mushrooms (or whatever they were) and went into combat with a mop! That kills me.
I also loved his continued banter with Pax and Electra. Great chemistry there.
Some fans said they were a bit bored by the Obsidian politics, but I found it really interesting. I agreed with Sefi’s idea of how they should move forward. Too bad she was tricked and misguided. (I am so relived she was not the Syndicate Queen.)
When exactly was Sefi poisoned by Atalantia? How long had she been suffering? Will Volsung Fá get sick too, now that he ate her heart?
Should I really believe Fá is Ragnar’s and Sefi’s father? Time for a reread because I thought they were only half siblings.
Lyria – Girl found her agency! Whoo-hoo! I wish we had real life Lyrias to go in and take down sex traffickers. Just spill some acid on them. So glad that Harmony bitch got what she deserved! Hypocritical whore. Justice is served. Eat up pit viper babies.
I don’t know what to make of Lyria’s parasite. Some fans were thinking it has to do with the Mind’s Eye. I doubt it. I don’t see the connection.
Ok, so many tears. First when Victra gave birth to Ulysses. Her benediction to him was just so beautiful.
And then the tree….
I have gotten over other characters’ deaths in this saga, but I will never get over Ulysses.
I swear, Victra and Sevro better have a son one day that survives.
I am so scared for Sevro. Please Save Sevro!
These character we have grown to love better get the happy ending they fought so hard for. The thesis better stand, Pierce.
I am sure there is a ton of things I missed and will reread it at some point. There is just so much that happens that unless I did a chapter by chapter review, I can’t cover it all.
I know I loved it and that it is a worthy sequel to the previous books.
There is sure to be quite a wait for the last book. Until then I want to do a full reread of the saga. I am deep into this fandom. I set up camp in the rabbit hole. Omnis Vir Lupus!
4.5 out of 5 Storm Gods.